Recruiting, Retaining, and Promoting for Construction Careers at Transportation Agencies

Construction is a labor intensive industry, meaning that employees are the most valuable resource to construction firms and organizations. Yet, challenges exist in today’s workforce in terms of recruiting and retaining quality employees as well as attracting individuals from minority and underrepresented groups. Currently, the aging workforce of the United States along with the acknowledgment that newer generations of potential transportation workers have many different ideals, beliefs, and expectations than previous generations, reveals that recruitment and retention issues should be a primary concern for public transportation organizations such as state departments of transportation (DOTs). Gone are the days that individuals are hired by one firm and that person works their entire career at that firm. Smart, ambitious, and highly motivated employees are difficult to find and even more difficult to keep, especially when considering individuals for technician positions such as DOT engineers, engineering technicians, maintenance personnel, and information technology professionals. These difficulties are not just a construction industry problem, but a more widespread issue for industries that require career technical education fields. Qualified personnel has to be compensated well and require work that develops their skills and matches their personal interests. Since engineering and technical employees require challenging and rewarding work, strategic hiring and retention plans must be employed to successfully recruit and retain each of these types of workers. Therefore, to manage the dynamics of meeting today and tomorrow’s construction and maintenance demands with an ever shrinking and changing workforce, state DOTs need robust workforce management strategies and guidance that can effectively attract, train, and retain engineers, technicians, and workers needed to construct and maintain the U.S. highway infrastructure well into the 21st century. The strategies developed can then be used by state DOTs to gain and sustain valuable human resources from current as well as future generations of workers, including minority and underrepresented individuals within transportation agency careers.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $204501
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)

      Louisiana State University
      Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803
    • Project Managers:

      Hassan, Marwa

    • Performing Organizations:

      Louisiana State University

      3660G Patrick F. Taylor Hall
      Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70803

      University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

      Department of Civil Engineering
      Albuquerque, NM  United States  87131-0001

      Prairie View A&M University

      Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
      P.O. Box 519
      Prairie View, TX  United States  77446

      Louisiana Transportation Research Center

      4101 Gourrier Avenue
      Baton Rouge, LA  United States  70808
    • Principal Investigators:

      Harper, Christofer

      Bogus, Susan

      Kommalapati, Raghava

      Choe, Doeun

    • Start Date: 20170508
    • Expected Completion Date: 20181108
    • Actual Completion Date: 20181108
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01635017
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Transportation Consortium of South-Central States (Tran-SET)
    • Contract Numbers: 17PPLSU07
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: May 17 2017 1:01PM